Newsletter 2nd Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners,

Last weekend in the Gospel we heard that after his baptism Jesus went into Galilee and “There he proclaimed the Good News from God”. Today we hear in the first reading that God speaks to Abraham, and Abraham not only listened to God’s voice but obeyed. In the Gospel again God’s voice is heard by the Apostles proclaiming that “This (Jesus) is my Son the beloved, listen to him.” How do we respond to this command? Do we listen to Jesus who calls us to repent and believe the Good News – very much the theme of Lent? Are we obedient to this call as Abraham was? Or do we suffer from selective hearing and respond only to the parts that take our fancy? Hopefully we do listen and do respond generously to God’s call. If not we at least can put our trust in Jesus who, as St. Paul says in our second reading, “Stands at God’s right hand and pleads for us”.

Apologies for the Mass time error in last week’s Newsletter for Tuesday, which wasn’t noticed until Sunday, at least it made my weekday return easier as only two parishioners were present for 10.00am! Apologies also that it wasn’t Livestreamed as I couldn’t remember the password! This week Mass on Monday and Tuesday both at 10.00am. The Requiem Masses on Wednesday and Friday afternoons are limited to 30, so family and invited friends only.

With Prayers and Blessings

Fr. Keith.

Funeral Arrangements for Frederick Schuller: The cortege will leave his home at 2.30pm on Thursday and drive down Canton Street to stop outside the church, for people to pay their respects before proceeding via Sturry Street to the City of London Crematorium for a service at 3.30pm.

PARISH WHATS APP GROUP We have a few more housebound or shielding elderly folk who would like a Telephone befriender (Telly Buddy). If you would like to help lift someone’s spirits and help them feel they are not forgotten, ring 0207 987 0257 or email Lorraine will help you get linked up. Thank you.

KEEP THE LIFELINE We are asked to write to our MP Apsana Begum or email her on: Or: Or:

asking her to support the extension of the extra £20.00 weekly Universal Credit payment which the Chancellor is due to announce in his Budget on March 3rd. There is fear that he may not continue this extra support. So many of our families are desperate for this and with unemployment due to soar, there will be evictions and misery for many otherwise. Please do it today and also ask her to support the extension of the Furlough Payment Scheme until the Autumn.

COMPASS IN LENT …reflecting together with young adults 18-35
Religious Life: the theory & the stories
Each Friday in Lent we gather together on Zoom from 7.00pm -8.15pm. There will be a short input on some aspect of religious life and then a guest speaker will share her/his vocation story. The meeting will also include a time for sharing, questions and discussion.
Zoom link: email us on for the link and for any other information. Facebook event: 
Compass is a project of CVP (Catholic Vocations Project). CVP is supported by a group of religious women and men in the UK who are interested in promoting a culture of vocation in our Church. 

VACCINATIONS If it’s good enough for the Pope and the Queen then the Vaccine should be good enough for us! Please encourage everyone to “have the jab”, if not for yourself for others to keep people safe. Father Albert Ofere who is Parish Priest in Wembley was struck down by Covid19 and has posted a video on the Catholic Bishops Website encouraging people to “have the jab” following his near death experience, go to: It is certainly a message for everyone not only the BAME Community and the “Anti Vaccers”.

CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE The Bishops Conference of England and Wales website has numerous articles on Covid19 and many other subjects. Go to for the latest Catholic News.

NEIGHBOURS IN POPLAR Thank you to all the incredible volunteers from both Limehouse and Poplar, who keep our Covid19 response Project going. We always welcome drivers on Wednesdays and Sundays at St Matthias Community Centre (113 Poplar High Street) Between 11:45am and 12:45pm. Several of our “Deliveroo Angels” have done much, much more than deliver meals, they have saved lives, ensured Hospital appointments and seen to Housing Repairs etc. Since the project began we have got through 11,000 plates—more are needed so please check your kitchen cupboards for all that mismatched crockery! Neighbours in Poplar can be contacted on 020 7987 0257 or email:

MEMORIES ISSUE 3  is available at the back of Church. a reminder of what Christmas 2020 was like, in case we forget! This issue contains contributions from some of our Parishioners, young and old.

LENTEN FUND RAISING The Sister Christine Challenge! We are hoping that as a Parish we will raise enough money (£750.00) to dig a Well in a Village in Ethiopia so that instead of walking miles daily for fresh water, the villagers can have their own water system. This will mean much more than just having fresh, clean water, it will allow children to attend school rather than spend the day walking for water. You will see from the diagram on the wall how our fund raising is progressing! Some donations have already been received.

TRACK AND TRACE –STAY SAFE A reminder to please either scan the QR Code or use a Track and Trace Form and place it in the offertory box as you enter the church. Face Masks should be worn and social distancing observed, please remain in your “Bubbles”. Please follow the one way system in the church. For Communion please come up the centre aisle and return by the side. Communion is to be received on outstretched hands.
Thank you

BAPTISM PREPARTION COURSE Details of a preparation course for those seeking baptism for their infant children will be announced soon.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION Whether by Direct Debit, Standing Order, Offertory Envelope, Virgin Money Giving Function on the parish website or by physical cash donations in the Offertory Box, and through Clergy House letterbox thank you for your continued financial support. Thanks also to all who by gift aiding your donation enables the parish to claim .25p from the tax man for every pound given at no extra cost to yourself.

PRAYERS PLEASE FOR: Those of our parish who are sick: at home or in Hospital and for all who care for them, for all those who are self isolating, prayers asked especially asked for Fr. Simon the Parish Priest at Bow Common. Our Country: Our Government, NHS and frontline workers fighting Covid-19; All who are poor; All Refugees; Our Diocese: especially our Bishops; Peace in our troubled world; Our Parish Family: those preparing for Baptism or Reception into the Church; CAFOD; Our Deanery: The Hospitals Chaplaincy; All who have died recently: and for those whose Anniversaries occur at this time.

Please pray for our ten Candidates and Catechumens who are preparing for Baptism and Confirmation. This would normally take place at the Easter Vigil but with the uncertainty about numbers etc. Father Keith has decided to delay this celebration until Pentecost Sunday May 23rd. 

A Spiritual Communion

During the difficult times that we are facing it may not always be possible to receive the Lord in Holy Communion. In these circumstances we can turn to a long held Catholic understanding that when conditions prevent us from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion.

Spiritual Communion is something that may not be familiar to some people. It was once defined by St Thomas Aquinas as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”

So Spiritual Communion is a source of grace that acknowledges our great desire to receive our Lord at a time or in circumstances when we cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion.

The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. Acts of Spiritual Communion can help to strengthen us in times of trial and to remind us that whatever the circumstances we are held in the loving embrace of our beloved Lord.

Spiritual Communion Prayer

My Jesus,
I believe that you are present in the Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul
so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.

Based on a prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori

Article published on St. Georges Cathedral, Southwark Diocese Website

Mass on Radio and a Poster

For those not on the internet RTE Radio are broadcasting Mass on 252 long wave. Please share this verbally with those who may not have access to the web. You might also print of the schedule for them. I understand that the full quota of Holy Week ceremonies will be broadcast on RTE. More detail is available from

An initiative has been launched (one of many!) to invite Christians to put a poster in their windows as a sign of faith and trust in the Lord in these troubled times. It is attractive and obtainable at this link: Perhaps print a poster and show it in the street window of your home. It could well encourage those who are downhearted.

On Line Resources for this time of isolation

During this time of isolation, more than ever we are turning to modern technology to help us keep ourselves grounded in our Catholic faith.

If you Google: Universalis
You will find an app which is a combined Mass Book and Divine Office Book (the daily prayer of the church used by priests, religious and increasingly lay people alike.) There is a free 30 day trial and if you find this useful you can purchase the app for a one off subscription. It is certainly one of the most used apps on my iPad, especially when attending Mass in a foreign language!

Listed below are a number of links you may find useful.

Sycamore have generously offered Open Access to their resources for the next 6 months. Full details at this link:
Sycamore material will be particularly helpful with RCIA groups and Confirmation candidates

For family support, TenTen are also making freely available resources for families, called Prayers for Home, which include ‘Sunday Liturgy for Families’ and ‘Daily Prayers for Home’

Sunday Liturgy for Families

Daily Prayers for Home

Just a reminder, also of the CAFOD Children’s Liturgy session for this week. The link to register is:
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar